Last year at Crestview Golf Club, Delta junior Belle Brown was tied with Yorktown junior Kayleigh Agugliaro during the 2022 Muncie Central Sectional. When she teed off on hole 18, she found the water. Agugliaro went on to become the individual champion.
Fast forward to today. Brown, now a senior, once again found the water on the same hole and scored a double bogey. Her mistake didn’t matter as Brown finished with a record-setting score of 66 (-6), which gave her the individual 2023 sectional title.
“I definitely went into this day with a lot of confidence, especially for me and our team,” Brown said. “I wanted to shoot pretty low and I just kind of didn't think too much about the match.”
Brown’s big day also led the Eagles to their fourth straight sectional championship.
“It's a great program,” Delta head coach Jim Fowler said. “We got a great middle school program that's feeding this. And we just got great owners at Albany that just love us.”
During the match, Fowler stayed away from his No.1 player. He didn’t want to jinx anything.
“When I heard she made the turn at three under, I knew there were a lot of birdie holes on the back,” he said. “I knew if she just kept it together, it was going to be around that she was never going to forget.”
While the performance was good enough to lift her and her team to the top of the leaderboard, it also achieved two other stat lines. First, Brown’s 66 is the best round from the women’s tees since Crestview changed them in 2016 due to flooding. The score is also tied for the tenth-best round in sectional history, according to the Indiana High School Athletics Association (IHSAA).
After walking off the green from her round that included an eagle and seven birdies, Brown was relaxed.
“After the round, you can breathe,” she said. “It's just an amazing feeling.”
Following Brown was junior Avery Stinson with a 88 and senior Hollis Klinger added a 89. Fowler mentioned earlier in the season his third and fourth players needed to be more consistent. Klinger knew she needed to step up.
“I have always been kind of the jokester of the group,” Klinger said. “...And I kind of walked in and said this is my senior year. I'm going to start pulling out scores that I know I can. I'm going to walk in and I'm going to focus.”
While the other Eagles were competing, they learned of Brown’s outing.
“I was getting ready to start my back nine and my coach [came by],” she said. “Doing what I normally do, I asked how everyone’s doing?”
When Fowler informed her, she knew that the team was in a good place.
“[I thought] she's gonna be insane and everyone else is gonna carry their weight,” she said. “It feels really good knowing that that was always out there.”
Besides Brown, there were other notable scores for the tournament. Wes-Del freshman Jane Armington and Agugliaro both tied with a 72. That was followed by a 75 from Daleville senior Addy Gick.
Behind Delta’s (349) first-place finish, Wapahani (370) came in second, and Yorktown (375) rounded out the advancing teams. The Raiders were led by sophomore Kenzie Brannon with an 84.
For the individuals, Armington, Gick, and Daleville senior Ava Capes (86) will advance to next week’s regional at The Edge golf course in Anderson. The tournament will be on Saturday, September 23.
Last season, the Eagles advanced all the way to the state finals. Brown believes that even with some newer varsity players, Delta can repeat the journey.
“We're gonna work hard this week,” she said… The new top five players have all shown up and really proved that we can make it back.”